Inner City Housing

FuturePerth 2013 State Election Guide
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“The key to a more vibrant city is simple – people, people, people. Did we mention people?”

What did we ask?

Yes or no, do you support the current Directions 2031 residential infill targets for inner city Perth laid out in the Central Metropolitan Sub-Regional Strategy?

If yes, how will you achieve this?

Why did we ask it?

The key to a more vibrant city is simple – people, people, people. Did we mention people?

More townhouses and apartments in the inner city will not only provide more housing options, but also result in more people in the streets, more small businesses opening, and the inner city taking on a life of its own.

The State Government’s Central Metropolitan Sub-Regional Strategy calls for 121,000 additional houses/townhouses/apartments within a 10km radius of the CBD by 2031. Considering that there are just over 300,000 dwellings in that area now, that’s a decent jump.

Great plan right – but what are each of the parties going to do to achieve it?

Image source:
Brian Harris


Liberal Response

“The Directions 2031 and Beyond strategy released by the Barnett Government in August 2010 sets out the vision and strategic direction for the future development of the Perth – Peel region. Directions 2031 is about providing accommodation and amenities for a rapidly growing population, a strategy that supports a more compact and sustainable plan for metropolitan Perth and Peel, with an emphasis on greater urban density and amenity in appropriate locations.

Directions 2031 sets achievable goals that will promote housing affordability over the longer term and is designed to provide for different lifestyle choices, vibrant nodes of economic and social activity and a more sustainable urban transport network.

Directions 2031 sets an urban infill target of 47% of new dwellings to be provided through infill residential development. The draft Central Metropolitan Sub-Regional Strategy identifies that at least 121,000 new dwellings will be required within the central metropolitan sub-region by 2031, including both inner city and middle ring suburbs. If re-elected, the Barnett Government will release the next Directions 2031 plan – an implementation strategy for a city of 3.5 million people – in mid- 2013. This strategy will provide future direction and detail on accommodating Perth’s forecast population growth.

This will ensure Perth remains an attractive and liveable city into the future.”

FuturePerth comment:

The Government has endorsed the plan, and while they didn’t outline specifically in their response how they will achieve the infill goals, they are undertaking a number of initiatives and have announced some changes since originally getting back to us.

It is fair to say that the Liberal Party’s introduction of Development Assessment Panels, proposed Local Government amalgamations and promised light rail line will go a long way to achieving a fair chunk of this dwelling target. However all of this is conjecture on our part – here’s looking forward to this mooted implementation strategy the Government has promised.

The Planning Minister recently announced that controls on ‘granny flats’ will be loosened, including increasing their permissible size, and removing the restriction that only family members can use these dwellings. Hopefully this will lead to more cheap, alternative housing. You cans see their proposal here.

We also note that the Libs have proposed to put the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority in charge of the development of Scarborough – an excellent move that will give developers confidence to build up and up in Scarbs.

Labor Response

“The Directions 2031 strategy is based on the “Network City” plan developed by the former Labor Government.

One of the valid criticism of the current Liberal National Government is that they don’t have a commitment to genuine long-term planning, and the fact that they set aside “Network City” to re-badge it for political reasons is just one example of this, as is the fact that they separated out the transport planning and land planning into separate plans. Having said that, as Labor developed the plan to target infill development in the City of Perth (against the opposition of the Liberal Party), we remain committed to this goal.

The only way that this can be achieved is to ensure that individual projects remain financially viable. It is investors who will provide the resources to develop each project that will be required to bring our vision to fruition.

A future McGowan WA Labor Government will work with all inner city land owners, the City of Perth, the MRA and other agencies to ensure projects can be developed in a cost-effective and timely manner. A future McGowan Labor Government will ensure that sufficient services are available to support these continuing developments.”

FuturePerth comment:

WA Labor has announced that they will seek to get the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority involved in medium scale infill projects – an excellent idea as these projects are sometimes the hardest to get off the ground. Check out their policy here.

And another important thing, WA Labor has outlined that it intends to lift the current 47% infill housing target (i.e. of all new houses, 47% will be in existing built up areas) – see more details here (PDF).

Greens Response

“Directions 2031 identifies a hierarchy of “Activity Centres” and prioritises these areas for future development. It also sets population and housing targets for each Activity Centre and local government area (LGA). The Greens support these objectives but would go further.

A joint study on regenerating transport corridors as a network of high street precincts, co-authored by the Greens, the Property Council of Australia, and the Australian Urban Design Research Centre, will be released shortly. The study investigates the potential to identify Activity Corridors of underutilised land along Perth’s key transport routes, and transform them into attractive places to live that can accommodate some of Perth’s projected population increases to 2031. The study complements the targets outlined in Directions 2031.

The study combines the twin objectives of providing public transport to existing outer suburbs that are entirely car dependent at present, and building mixed use developments along those transport corridors, including affordable infill housing, businesses and services, thereby transforming them into liveable high streets.”

FuturePerth comment:

The Greens and the Property Council doing a study together? Who knew!? This is a welcome, proactive effort by the Greens to support density along our activity corridors – we can’t wait to read the study.

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